These 7 Relaxing Podcasts Will Lull You Into a Deep Sleep
It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Podcasts to help you sleep. How could the sound of someone talking lull you into a deep, rejuvenating night of rest?
Well, if by podcasts you’re thinking of the high octane, high energy chat shows that you love to listen to while walking around a park – The High Low, we’re looking at you – then yes, it definitely sounds counterintuitive. But what if you think of podcasts as someone reading you a bedtime story? Or guiding you through a simple meditation? Then, it starts to make a whole lot more sense. In fact, it begins to feel imperative that you try listening to a podcast as a way of helping you fall asleep.
The trick is to find the podcasts that will create the right mood and atmosphere to kickstart your circadian rhythms and help you nod off. They need to be relaxing, soothing and gentle to listen to. And here are a few of our favourites.
This is the big one, the ne plus ultra of sleep podcasts. Sleep With Me, hosted by Drew Ackerman and running twice a week since 2013, has since gone on to have more than two million downloads, as fans of Ackerman’s dulcet tones tune in to listen to him talk about… nothing. The show’s premise is that Ackerman will tell a story designed for you to miss the ending: when his 20 minutes are up, ideally you will be fast asleep. Try listening to it and see if Ackerman’s as good as he says he is.
The hint is in the name: there’s not a lot going on when it comes to this podcast. Each episode, the narrator tells a simple story twice. The first time, she tells it at normal speed and the second, it’s slowed-down and takes it time, encouraging you to quiet your mind and regulate your breathing with the host’s cadence. The idea is that, by the second time listening, you’re so familiar with this nothingness of a story that you’ll be lulled to sleep. And, remarkably, it really does work.
Host Kristin Zaza reads a horror story, full of thrills and spills, in this surprisingly relaxing podcast. Maybe horror isn’t your usual favourite genre – it’s certainly not ours. Don’t worry, though. There’s something about Zaza’s soothing voice that makes the substance of the tale take on a more meditative quality. Plus, the chapter-by-chapter style of this podcast helps you to plug in and zone out when you’re listening. The stories she tells are fantastic too, but the point is to be asleep before she finishes the chapter, which is usually what happens.
Maybe what you really, really want is to have a bedtime story read to you. None of this made up nonsense, you want chapters from real books that you love, familiar stories that will swaddle you in their words. Well, this is the podcast for you. Featuring readings from books including Little Women and The Secret Garden – children’s tales that still strike a chord well into adulthood – this podcast perfectly recreates the magic of having a bedtime story read aloud to you.
This BBC Radio show is all about sound. Close your eyes and listen to the noise of everyday life, sounds recorded all around the world and broadcast to soothe your earbuds. Originally designed to serve as the most wonderful background noise, it’s equally great as a sleep aid, given how it’s basically just the highest quality and deeply varied examples of diegetic sound you’ll ever find in your podcast app.
Here’s another show that does exactly what it says on the tin. Each day, meditation coach Mary Meckley guides listeners through a meditation that can be practiced in bed, lying down, with their eyes closed. Beditation is the technical word for this kind of meditation practice, but it’s also a great way to slow down your mind and prepare your body for sleep.
The crackle of static, the fizz of the airwaves – this podcast channels the beauty of historic radio stations and their drama programmes, bringing back some of the most popular detective stories and releasing episodes one by one. The stories themselves are fantastic, full of intrigue and melodrama, but the vintage production values are what you’re really looking for here. Tune in and tune out.